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Senior Hurlers Fall To Opening Round Allianz League Defeat To Tipperary

Senior Hurlers Fall To Opening Round Allianz League Defeat To Tipperary

Sat, 3rd February 2024

DUBLIN 0-22 


Dublin’s Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B campaign commenced on a disappointing note as they succumbed to Tipperary by eleven points at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts were bedevilled by handling mistakes in the opening-half as they trailed by eight points with Gearoid O’Connor converting six frees for Tipperary in that first-half.

The Dubs raised hopes of a comeback in the third quarter with an improved showing but the concession of goals at key times to Sean Ryan and Jake Morris proved their undoing by the final whistle.

Dublin played into the breeze in the opening-half but made a promising start as Brian Hayes embarked on one of his customary runs down the middle before popping over the crossbar inside thirteen seconds.

However, that score proved an isolated moment of encouragement for the hosts in the opening quarter as Tipperary proved hugely economical in front of goal.

Eoghan Connolly levelled matters in an instant as the visitors pushed three points clear by the 5th minute following a free from goalkeeper Rhys Shelly and a brace of placed balls by O’Connor.

Willie Connors and O’Connor added to the Tipperary lead before Dublin briefly got back on track following successive scores by Conor Burke and Cian O’Sullivan (free).

Tipperary wing-backs, Bryan O’Mara and Conor Bowe added points to enhance their team’s position with Dublin guilty of making some rudimentary errors, which undermined some promising situations.

Dublin chipped away as the half progressed with Jake Malone and O’Sullivan on target but with O’Connor tagging over frees at regular intervals, the hosts found themselves eight points in arrears by the 21st minute.

There was a chink of light as O’Sullivan fired over two excellent points from play to bring that deficit down to six points and while Burke and Sean Currie also added to the home tally before the break, they still faced an uphill battle, trailing by 0-17 to 0-9 at half-time.

The hosts looked a more determined outfit upon the restart with O’Sullivan (free) and Diarmuid Ó Dúlaing adding momentum to their challenge.

Sadly, that momentum was punctured in the 44th minute as Sean Ryan turned sharply away from Paddy Smyth, with his low strike placed perfectly inside the right-hand upright of Eddie Gibbons.

Dublin’s response to that body blow was admirable as an excellent Fergal Whitely preceded three frees in quick succession by O’Sullivan as the hosts clawed their way back into contention.

Currie could well have goaled at the end of the third quarter as advantage was played following a foul on Davy Keogh but his powerful shot rose over Shelly’s crossbar.

In contrast, their opponents were more clinical when the chances arose and Jake Morris effectively settled the issue in the 58th minute as he raced clear behind the Dublin defence, leaving Gibbons helpless once again.

Morris added two points in the immediate aftermath as the contest petered out from that juncture, as Dublin’s thoughts turned to a trip to Belfast to play Antrim next Sunday afternoon.

Scorers – Dublin: C O’Sullivan 0-11 (8f, 1 ‘sideline), F Whitely 0-3, S Currie, C Burke 0-2 each, J Malone, B Hayes, D Ó Dúlaing, P Crummey 0-1 apiece. Tipperary: G O’Connor 0-12 (8f, 1 ‘65’, 1 sideline), J Morris 1-4, S Ryan 1-0, E Connolly 0-2, R Shelly (f), C Morgan, B O’Mara, C Bowe, W Connors, J McGrath, A Tynan, A Ormond, J Fogarty 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: E Gibbons; M Grogan, P Smyth, J Bellew; D Power, C Donohoe, D Gray; c Burke, B Hayes; J Malone, R Hayes, S Currie; D Ó Dúlaing, C O’Sullivan, P Crummey. Subs: J Madden for Grogan (25), F Whitely for R Hayes (34), D Keogh for Malone (44), S Gallagher for Currie (63).

Tipperary: R Shelly; J Ryan, R Maher, C Morgan; C Bowe, R Byrne, B O’Mara; W Connors, E Connolly; G O’Connor, J McGrath, A Tynan; J Morris, A Ormond, S Ryan. Subs: M Kehoe for McGrath (52), D Stakelum for Tynan (56), B Heffernan for Connolly (61), J Fogarty for Connors (64), P Maher for Ormond (68).

Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway).

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